ICONIC singer-songwriter Bob Dylan will take to the stage in Oxford tonight (Friday, November 4) for one of the most intimate shows on his world tour.

The artist, 81, will play the New Theatre in George Street as part of his Rough and Rowdy Ways Worldwide Tour, which began last December in Milwaukee.

The show will see him mix classic tracks such as Blowin’ in the Wind and Tangled Up in Blue with newer material.

All 1,785 tickets for the Oxford show were snapped up a matter of minutes after going on sale in September, with theatre director David O’Hara saying it had been a record sell-out.

He said: “There were 4,000 people in the queue, with tickets for every seat snapped up in 11 minutes. It was unprecedented and certainly a theatre record.

“Having one of the most iconic people in contemporary music playing the New Theatre Oxford is incredible. He was a hero of mine growing up and to have him coming here is fantastic.”

Doors open at 6.30pm with the music starting at 8pm with no support act.

Audience members are being advised to get to the venue well ahead.

Mobile phones will be banned from the performance with the audience required to lock their phones in a Yondr bag for the duration of the performance - and only able to unlock them at the end of the show or in an emergency at a special point away from the auditorium.

Theatre spokesman Max Pollard told the Oxford Mail: "Bob Dylan’s music has spoken to generation after generation for over 60 years. His unique sound has a permanent place in societal, cultural and musical heritage, you hear that harmonica and instantly know that it is him.

Oxford Mail: Bob Dylan

“His stellar career has seen him sell over 125 million records, win a Nobel Prize for literature, 10 Grammy Awards and an Academy Award, before an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame as well as a place in Time’s list of the most influential people of the century. 

“The Rough and Rowdy Way’s Tour is to celebrate his 39th studio album of the same name, released in 2020, includes instant classics Murder Most Foul, I Contain Multitudes and False Prophet.

“An icon of his genre and a master of his craft, Bob Dylan has been a major part of popular culture throughout his career with a discography that includes Like a Rolling Stone, The Times They Are A-Changing, Don’t Think Twice it’s All Right, and Knocking on Heavens Door, alongside countless others.

“Genius is a word used too lightly but, in this case, it is one that could easily be seen as an understatement. 

“It is a privilege and a pleasure to host Bob Dylan at the New Theatre Oxford.”

Dylan, who has won numerous awards including the Nobel Prize for literature during a 60-year career, last toured the UK in April and May 2017 as part of his Never Ending Tour.

Oxford Mail:

Bob Dylan live in London's Hyde Park - on stage and on screen. Picture by Tim Hughes

That run of shows saw him mix classic tracks such as Blowin’ In The Wind and Tangled Up In Blue with newer material.

Emerging from New York City’s Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960s, Dylan became a counter-cultural figure with the release of a series of political anthems.
Dylan, born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota, was the first songwriter to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016, with the Swedish academy crediting him with “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

His songs have been recorded more than 6,000 times, with artists as varied as The Byrds, Jimi Hendrix and Adele finding success with covers.

Dylan has to date sold more than 125 million records globally and won a best original song Oscar in 2001 for Things Have Changed, which he wrote for the film Wonder Boys.
The new shows have drawn upon his vast back catalogue as well as songs from the critically acclaimed new album.

The facts

  • Bob Dylan plays the New Theatre Oxford tonight (Friday, November 4).
  • Doors 6.30pm - with theatre bars open
  • Show starts at 8pm
  • No phones allowed - all mobiles to be locked away in secure lockable bags before for the duration of the show. Locked bags will be handed back to audience members
  • Tickets have sold out


A Phone-free show

  • How it works?

Once you arrive at the venue, Yondr (the phone pouch company engaged on this concert) will have its dedicated staff available to help you put your phone in a locked and secure pouch, which you will keep with you throughout the evening.

  • What should I do if I have an emergency and need to access my phone?

You can unlock your phone pocket at any time by going to a dedicated and signposted area, intended for phone use. Do not hesitate to ask a Yondr staff member to help you.

  • Why are they doing this?

To create a better experience for everyone in attendance. The theatre says: "Our eyes open a little more and our senses are slightly sharper when we lose the technological crutch we’ve grown accustomed to. And yes, it’s a non-negotiable deal (although medical exemptions are made for those who rely on their phone for treatment)."